Google chose to break their tradition of outsourcing production of their phones (the Nexus series) and make arguably the best cell phone on the market in house. The Google Pixel is a phenomenal phone that I would suggest to anyone looking for a new device and can foot the bill (after taxes this phone is about $750).
Though I do enjoy the technical and software aspects of this phone, my review of it here will be more about the typical user’s experience. I’ll be reviewing how this phone feels to use. I cannot promise that this will be comprehensive, but I will strive for it being thorough while remaining brief. Though this phone is unlocked and can work on any network with a SIM, currently only Verizon and Project Fi are the only carriers that offer it.
Out of the Box and Off the Bat
This phone immediately impresses. Its unboxing experience guides the new user (you) through the device and informational pamphlets seamlessly. The simple design and bright colors draw the eyes to the next cool aspect of its packaging until finally, the phone is only separated from you by a small protective bag. The USB-C charger fits into its port snuggly and the anticipation builds as you wait for it to fully charge so you can begin playing with it.
But that time flies as Google proves they are sorcerers, providing much of the battery life within fifteen minutes of charging. While I won’t go into the clever trickery and development in the battery which allows this, just that time itself is impressive on a surface level. It also comes with a USB to USB-C so that you can plug it into charging devices which may not yet accept the USB-C male connector.
Speed and Elegance
This phone is incredibly responsive with tasks and input. Its accelerometer has zero delay between the phone being turned on its side and the screen expanding to follow suit. Texting is quick, it can run a fair amount of programs congruently, and its processor keeps up with everything running. It does all of this seamlessly and I often forget that I have programs running in the background, because there is literally no noticeable stress being put on the processor. Whether streaming or downloading (or both) this phone will be able to take on a ludicrous number of tasks thrown at it without breaking a sweat.
Smile, You’re Behind the Best Camera on a Smartphone (for now, of course)
The rear camera -not the selfie camera- on the Google Pixel is nothing short of amazing. Crisp, clean, and HD photos make even the most novice photographer appear to know what they’re doing. I know this because I’ve taken some pretty impressive pictures with this already -at least I think-. What’s far more impressive about this camera, for the everyday user, is its 4K video recording.
You do have to enable 4K recording, as its default is set to 1080p. Now the layman can take cinematic quality video when they are out on the town or just hanging out at home. Considering where video quality on mobile devices was even five years ago, this is no small feat Google has accomplished. They’re not the only ones to do it, but they’re definitely one of the first and have definitely done it well.
Hands down this is the best phone battery I’ve had since I used a Nokia. While still using the phone rather heavily I can go about three days without charging this phone. Considering at most it takes an hour to charge the phone from 15%, a full two days on a charge is not only pleasant, it’s mind-boggling.
I received three months of Google music immediately just by having the Pixel, which now includes YouTube Red as well. So I got ad-less music and YouTube for free for three months (~$35 value), immediately. In addition to all the little surprises that the Pixel (coupled with Google’s Project Fi) gifts its user, the Pixel also offers unlimited storage for photos and video via Google Photos.
You may overlook this as a cool little feature not worth too much, but then you remember that your phone is capable of shooting video in 4K. These raw files are ENORMOUS and storage can be a problem if you film many things. The free storage offered takes away all of those worries. Of all the added goodies this phone has, its link to free storage is nothing short of miraculous and cost-reducing.
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